Background to the Week

In July 2008, the Department for Communities and Local Government published Face to Face and Side by Side – a Framework for Partnership in our Multi Faith Society. This document presented the Government’s strategy for encouraging the further development of inter faith activity in England. It set out how faith communities, the Government, and wider society can work together at all levels to bring people of different religious backgrounds together.

In the course of the consultation, the Executive Committee of the Inter Faith Network for the UK proposed the introduction of an Inter Faith Week, drawing on their experience of a successful Week of this kind held in Scotland. One of the Government’s undertakings in the final document was to work in partnership with the Inter Faith Network for the UK, with its member bodies, to organise an Inter Faith Week in 2009.  The Inter Faith Network links national faith community representative bodies; national, regional and local inter faith bodies; and education and academic bodies with an interest in inter faith issues.

The first Inter Faith Week in 2009 was very successful with a range of exciting events taking place across England and Wales. These events included inter faith sports, discussions and dialogues, walks and pilgrimages, festivals and celebrations, exhibitions, concerts, and classroom activities. Faith communities across the country took part alongside schools, colleges, universities, local authorities, and many other types of organisation.

Inter Faith Week has continued to grow and evolve ever since. Full lists of events that took place each year, as well as annual reports on the Week, can be found on the reports page.

In 2024, the Inter Faith Network for the UK closed. The Week is now being taken forward by an ad hoc group of a number of national inter faith organisations and an educational body. The website is being taken on by the United Religions Initiative (UK) on behalf of the group.

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